118 TOP PLAYERS FROM 19 CLUBS
TO BE SCOUTED AT HAWAI'I PDP SHOWCASE
Over the next two weekends on the islands of Oʻahu and Maui, the Major Island Soccer Organization Junior League (MJL) and Hawaii Soccer Federation (HSF) will be hosting US Club Soccer’s Player Development Program—at the Waipiʻo Soccer Complex in Waipahu and Keōpūolani Park in Wailuku. 118 top players from 19 clubs and all four major Hawaiian islands will be in attendance. The selection rosters for both camps were formed as a result of an extensive recommendation and objective scouting process that included observations during league play, state cup competition, and elite player training and scrimmage events.
The scouting cycle began with recommendations of top talent born within the target age groups—by coaches and directors of coaching whose 13U to 15U teams were participating in the US Club Soccer Hawaiʻi State Cup this past April. US Club Soccer’s West Region Manager, Gabe Rood, attended the competition, specifically to observe and identify elite talent for potential invites to attend Hawaiʻi PDP’s in October. Three days of scouting produced Oʻahu’s entire selection roster of 27 boys born in 2004 and 2005, and 39 girls born in 2003 and 2004. The targeted birth years are determined by U.S. Soccer, according to the scouting priorities of the U-14 National Teams. Several neighbor island teams and individually rostered players within those age groups were also in competition, which yielded 26 Maui PDP invites total.
To fill its selection rosters, HSF held additional scouting events on Kauaʻi and Maui—based on recommendations of top talent according to coaches and coaching directors whose teams participate in HSF’s Premier League. To identify the top talent, HSF tapped NorCal Premier’s Director of Scouting and Director of Boys NPL PDP, Ian Mork. Mork conducted training and internal scrimmages for over 100 invited players, and ultimately selected an additional 26 to makeup the neighbor islands’ top talent pool.
Now the table is set for id2 Directors, Gerry McKeown (Boys) and Tricia Taliaferro (Girls), who just completed US Club Soccer’s first post-summer id2 Training Camp in Massachusetts this past weekend. At Hawaiʻi’s PDP’s, McKeown and Taliaferro will make their selections of elite players to attend US Clubs Soccer’s final id2 Training Camp of the 2017-2018 cycle—to held in Arizona in early December.
Because Hawaiʻi’s PDP’s are held later in the calendar year, U.S. Soccer’s target age groups for the following (2018-2019) target cycle (i.e., girls born in 2004 and boys born in 2005) are included in Hawaiʻi’s (2017-2018) scouting and identification process. Extending the opportunity a year early has proven to be successful for Hawaiʻi soccer. Within the first two years of PDP programming being established in Hawaiʻi, 22 players were selected to advance to id2 Arizona. From the 2015 Arizona Camp, Poʻokela SC/FA Maui forward, Tommy Musto, became Hawaiʻi’s first id2 player to travel on US Club Soccer’s National Selection International Tour to Spain (2016). The following year (2017), Hawaii Rush SC midfielder, Logan Calpito, held the same honor. Both boys were identified a year early—prior to U.S. Soccer’s target cycle for their age group. Musto moved on to be rostered with the Portland Timbers Development Academy in Oregon. Calpito is preparing for his D.A. tryout, and will be at Oʻahu’s PDP to vie for a returning spot on the id2 NSIT roster in 2018.
US Club Soccer's id2 Program was created to form a national player pool for potential inclusion in U.S. Soccer National Team programming—at no cost to the player. The success of id2 in Hawaiʻi started four years ago at the inaugural US Club Soccer Hawaiʻi State Cup. There, Rood identified two (2) elite players within U.S. Soccer’s target age groups; and handed out direct invites to attend id2 Arizona in 2014. In 2015 and 2016, MJL and HSF held the first US Club Soccer PDP’s, where McKeown joined the local program to make his own selections for id2 Arizona. Hawaiʻi’s id2 girls standouts include 2000 and 2001 born midfielders, Kylie Minimishin and Sunshine Fontes; 2001 born forward, D'awncey Jones-Black; and 2003 born forward, Caetlyn Johannes, who have been called up to attend U.S. Soccer National Team training camps, as well made roster appearances with U.S. Soccer’s U-15 and U-16 (Girls), and U-17 (Women’s) National Teams.
PAST HAWAI'I SELECTIONS TO ID2
2000 born defender, Chai Cortez, was Hawaiʻi’s first id2 alumna to be called up and hold a Top-11 spot on U.S. Soccer’s U-14, U-16, and U-17 Women’s National Teams. Cortez initially impressed id2 Scout and U.S. National Team Coach, April Kater, at id2 Oregon in Spring 2014. She was then selected to represent the 2015 id2 Girls National Selection Team and competed in the Nike Training Camp—powered by ECNL. According to US Club Soccer, of the elite 16-man roster of 2015 id2 Girls, “fourteen participants commit[ted] to play collegiate soccer, including two at Princeton and two at Duke. All players have competed for the U.S. at the 14-U, 15-U, 16-U, 17-U or 18-U levels.”
As luck would have it, an injury coupled with coaching staff turnovers kept Cortez from continuing with U.S. Soccer. Cortez is currently a senior at Maui High School, committed to play with Oregon. When asked of her id2 experience, Cortez responded by stating, “id2 is simply awesome. The experience to play with some of the best athletes in the country is priceless, and to have an event like [PDP] in our own backyard is great. It brings so much to Hawaiʻi.” Chai’s mother, Shannon Cortez, said, “we strongly feel id2 is where it all began for her.”